Homesteader?

As most of you have noticed, there is something else in the title of this blog that has yet to really be talked about. And since I talk about caffeine and my adoration of it pretty often, it’s the Homesteading part. Chad and I are slowly dipping our toes into the life of Homesteaders. Before Noah’s diagnosis, we were making big strides into changing our lives to more simpler ones. The idea of the Homesteader is that you live off what you grow. This isn’t a debate for meat eaters vs vegetarians ( or vegans). We eat meat. I personally see certain animals as food and we act accordingly with it. I could talk a bit about how much fossil fuels are used to bring that kiwi to the table, but that is kind of pointless. Because this isn’t a blog about preaching my ideas to others in the idea that I have found the right way to live, and everyone else is wrong. It’s just talking about how we do things.

A week ago Chad culled 4 of our roosters. Yes, we had 4 roosters. We got a flock in late spring, then a few weeks ago Chad noticed that 4 of them had tail feathers. We can’t have 5 roosters and 15 hens. Those poor girls wouldn’t be able to take all 0f the “attention”, and quite honestly it’s not fair to them. So Chad decided to take a step into Homesteading and he processed them. This is the part of the story where I tell you that I couldn’t watch. I didn’t want to see the setup, I didn’t want to see the process, I wanted to close my eyes and pretend it wasn’t happening at all. See, the part of Homesteading I like is the gardening. It’s the growing of vegetables and fruits from the dirt. It’s feeding our kids foods that we know were grown in the best and most natural way possible. I don’t have a moral issue with culling the chickens, I just didn’t want to see it. So maybe I am  a Homesteader lite.

Our life goal for our family is to eventually move to a home with 5-10 acres. To have that land be our life. To grow everything we eat. I can’t speak for everyone but I can say that the reason we are choosing a life like this is I see the direction that our society is going, and it makes me want to move in the opposite direction. We have grocery stores filled with foods that aren’t really foods. Things that are made in factories and processed to the point where there isn’t a lot (if any) nutritional content left. We are feeding our kids produce that was grown from a seed that is not found in nature, that is again, grown in a lab and produced in a factory. While we buy bananas for our smoothies, I try to make efforts to not buy produce that has traveled more than I have. Because I would feel like I had no right to complain about our environment  or even the price of gas if I am contributing to the issue by buying foods that are grown halfway across the country. I am not sitting here saying that our way is the right way. I am just saying it’s our way. People have a way of getting defensive when I talk about where your food comes from. Or they can get upset when I talk about the fact that we eat meat. But the reality is, our way is just simply our way. This will probably be a recurring theme here because I don’t want anyone to think I am being judgy or preachy. Or anything else that ends with -y.

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I don’t talk a lot about Homesteading here, because it’s taken a back seat with everything going on with Noah. But with his health issues, it’s even more important to make sure and try to feed the kids foods that are the best, and that means local and grown in a organic way. Our garden went to hell this year because Noah was in the hospital right at the time where everything would be going into the ground. But next year we have hopes to have something really amazing.

So if I was being honest, am I am Homesteader? No. But I want t0 be, and I know that is what is best for everyone here.

And knowing is half the battle.

*cue 80’s theme music*

Sometimes you handle your shit, and sometimes the shit handles you.

I have been noticeably absent from this blog for a little over a month now. Not because there is a lack of things to talk about, but because I have been riding the waves of my depression lately. I have let my depression win the day way too often, and because of that my blog has taken a back seat. I have had depression since high school, and I manage it. Sometimes it’s managed to the point where it’s very far in the back of my mind, but sometimes it manages me, clinging to the forefront of my thoughts on a regular basis. The waves crashed over me a month ago and I have been struggling  to get to shore since then. I am comfortable talking about it because in reality, not talking about it makes it worse. When depression begins to be secretive and hidden, then it has the ability to crawl deeper into my brain and lay down roots. So the depression has been winning, and I stopped writing. That is the explanation in a nutshell.

Everyone makes changes differently. I am someone who has to take small steps. I have learned from the past that if I attempt big steps than I get overwhelmed and anxious and then I quit. So small steps it is. Steps like making an appt with a counselor, and talking to someone about changing my anti depression dose. Changes like walking more and getting outside. My weight is easily the heaviest ever. So if I let the depression win, then I eat because I am sad over the number on the scale. But then the number only gets higher by eating, so then I eat more. Down we go in the spiral. Small changes allow things to settle in, and it becomes manageable.

But I am here, and I am writing. Because things need to be said. Life goes on when you are depressed. You still have to function, and raise kids and feed your family. Your house still needs cleaned and bills paid. Life is in constant motion, so to give up isn’t an option.

Noah is getting into his second to last phase before he enters Maintenance. This phase will be a challenge. He is back on steroids every other week along with his weekly chemo. I have been dreading this phase for weeks now. Steroids are horrible for a 5yo. Honestly, they are probably horrible for everyone, but for the younger ones who don’t have the ability to recognize certain emotions and talk about them, it’s challenging. The emotional roller coaster is enough to send any caretaker into the bottom of the vodka bottle. On top of the chemo and all of the accumulative effects of the chemo he has gotten before, they say these next 2 months will be hard. His numbers will drop ( his white blood cell counts, the blood cells that fight infection) so we will probably be spending a lot of time at home. We are also entering the cold and flu season, which is Ohio feels like it lasts half the year, oh wait…it does. Because of the winter, his low numbers and the season of sickness, I have been collecting different craft projects to do during these times that he can’t leave the house. Chad also went on Ebay and got a Wii along with some learning games. A year ago if you had told me we were going to be buying our 5yo a gaming system, I would have told you that you were insane. But when you go through 3 craft projects by noon, you have to get a little creative with how you are spending your time. A bored 5yo is not a pleasant person to be around.

Fall is here in Ohio, and with that the cooler weather.   14369936_10209291906127211_3655524510572054152_n14479594_10208316102598381_1042467551932471206_n

 I have tried taking this time as an opportunity to get the kids out of the house and enjoy my favorite time of the year. 

There is lots more to talk about and say. But it’s too early and I am too tired. Plus I’m sure your coffee has gotten cold reading this, as mine has writing it. So I will go refill and start my day.

Thanks for listening.

Messy thoughts and bouts of crying

Do you ever feel like you are so fragmented in your life that you can’t actually sit down and get anything done? Like your thoughts are all over the place and you can’t finish a task and you are so poorly organized that it almost makes you a little insane? I can’t think it’s just me.

This past week I haven’t written anything. Mostly because I haven’t been able to organize my thoughts for long enough to get them out. You know? So I didn’t blog and I just let the thoughts ramble around my head until I felt a little crazy, until I cried over yet another episode of Grey’s Anatomy (I really need to stop watching that show because it just depresses the shit out of me). Last week was the week for breakdowns and feelings of “I can’t” and crying and screaming at kids like a crazy person. It was the week for starting a bunch of tasks and completing zero of them. The week of making big goals, getting overwhelmed by those goals and then having a breakdown because I felt overwhelmed by my huge goals that I had yet to even start other than writing them down.  I did not have my shit together on any level. It was a week of crying to chad over the phone because I felt overwhelmed with the kids and life. Of asking him to call me from work just so I can freak the fuck out over the phone with Dexter crying in the background and Ramona crawling all over me when ALL I WANT TO DO IS DRINK MY COFFEE WHILE IT’S HOT WHY CAN’T KIDS PLAY IN THEIR ROOM FOR 2 FUCKING SECONDS??!! I didn’t know how I was going to get anything done when the smallest task seemed daunting. Like putting on pants. Or showering. So I was the stinky kid with the insane look in her eyes last week. I was scary screaming mommy with no patience.

Needless to say, it was a rough go for everyone involved.

Sometimes shit just gets to be too much, and life becomes too challenging to do anything other than watch Sarah and Duck and feed the kids pb&j sammies for lunch. And dinner. 

Stop judging me.

But this is a new week and we are back at the hospital this week for Noah’s inpatient chemo. So I will write more this week. Because how else will I be able to talk about night nurses or telling our nurse I have to run to the car to get something when really I am going to Starbucks.

Anyway, I had to wake up this morning at 5am so I could get alone time.

So that is my reality today. Also I warmed up coffee from yesterday.

I figure if I set my standards super low there is no where to go but up.

3am thoughts

It’s 3am. To say I’m tired would be doing a disservice to my current emotional state. Exhausted. Spent. Drained. 

Noah has to pee every 4 hours because of his chemo. So even if Dexter decides to start gracing me with sleeping through the night, I’d still have to be up. 

Ever gotten a child out of a deep sleep? It’s like trying to reason with your drunk uncle. He’s belligerent and borderline emotionally abusive and convinced I’m trying to kill him. 

So you know…like being on a playground in hell. 

Because of the shrieking screams Dexter is up now too. My back is killing me because my bed is bowing in the middle.

Also we aren’t at Seidman this time, with the floor ceiling windows and WORKING COFFEE MAKER. We are at Rainbows where our windows are right above a flood light. Or devil light. Light so bright that when someone walks by (it’s motion activated) you’re basically staring into the sun.

Our 20 something resident came in too early this morning again singing SINGING “good morning” to us. I’m planning on making a shank out of my toothbrush so I’ll be ready for that bitch next time. 

Ode to our night nurse

I’d like to dedicate this 1am blog post to our night nurse.

I’m not quite sure what I enjoyed more, being woken up to you trying to convince my STILL SLEEPING son to keep a thermometer in his mouth, or his crying that resulted from you thinking you can just take his blood pressure while he’s not aware of what’s going on. I realize you probably don’t have kids. I came to that assumption right around the time you told me you thought it was my 8 month old son coming out of the bathroom ON HIS OWN instead of me. While the sound concert of the toilet flushing and you attempting to put on your chemo hospital gown was entertaining, ideally I would have preferred it not to have happened right next to my sleeping baby.

Also.

Was it necessary for you to speak in normal tones? Night time is for whispering. We aren’t at a concert. I can HEAR YOU perfectly fine if you chose to use hushed tones. 

Lastly, I would ask that you just go the fuck away from our room at night from now on. 

I am not under the illusion that I will actually be going to sleep in a hospital. The bed is uncomfortable, and I have to get Noah up to pee every 4 hrs which normally consists of me carrying him like a baby to the bathroom while feverishly praying that my back doesn’t just snap in two or I pull something I’ll need later on. 

I get it. Sleep isn’t happening. But all I ask is that you FUCK OFF  our room from now on. Or I’ll throat punch you and blame it on night terrors. 

Fucker. 

Chemo and Coffee

There are few things more depressing than the cancer wing of a children’s hospital. I mean I’m sure there ARE more depressing places. War torn Syria. Auschwitz. But for my life experiences to date, this would be the winner. The top of the cake of horse shit that you experience when your kid has cancer. You see, one day you’ll come into clinic with your coffee, carrying your bags and checking Facebook as your son plays video games with one of the volunteers. You will strike up a conversation with another parent about how shitty it is that the Keurig on the young child’s side is always broken (they separate young adults from younger kids on the clinic floor). You laugh about always being tired and then you’ll look to see his baby. His actual BABY. I’d say around 12months old. Tiny wisps of hair on his (her?) head. Small enough to be in a stroller. You get caught up in the new normalcy of your life. Chemo is normal. Clinic days are normal. Nurses are normal. Pokes and prods are normal. But you know the thing is…it’s not. None of it is. These kids are going through some shit that we will never be able to really understand. We just clean up the puke and administer the meds. We look at them constantly. Looking looking looking for any change. Searching for any complaint. It’s easy to fall into a routine. Forget about the seriousness of it all. Because you know it’s fucking depressing to think about CANCER all the time. The weight of the word CANCER is enough to stop your breath and slow your steps.

Fuck man.

We are doing our second inpatient chemo this week. I will have to be sober for this. So that sucks.

Also.

I forgot my coffee cup so I have to use this:

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Because shit isn’t hard enough.

 

Jealousy

The thing with being a mom and having mom friends, is there is always 2 conversations going on. The conversation that is actually happening, and the one that is hidden in the undertones of the words. The judgement that is laced in with the words and sentences. Because the choices you make as a mom, are conscious ones. You choose to breastfeed or formula feed, you choose to co sleep or use a nursery. You choose to spank or to use gentle parenting. These are all choices. These choices also define who you are as a mom, and in turn who your mom friends will usually be. Like gravitates to like. So most of my friends breastfeed their babies. We talk about weaning and night feedings and go to nursing mom groups. It’s not to say I think another way of parenting is wrong, it’s just not what I have chosen for my babies or myself. So because all of these choices are incredibly personal, the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and I go into a fight stance when these choices are scrutinized or judged. But that is what moms do right? I mean if you’re an asshole you do.

Not that I do.

Ok, I am an asshole. Not the worst thing I’ve ever been called.

While I can’t speak for anyone else, my judgement usually stems from some sort of jealousy. The green eyed monster has been known to climb into the chair next to me and stay for a bit. But in the idea of honesty, I will talk about some of the things I get judgy about.

Date Nights. Chad and I had a date the other day for our 4 year anniversary. We haven’t been alone out of the house together since Dex was born so you’d think this would be a big date. I planned it around nap time and there was a time limit. So. Yea. We don’t have the luxury of big date nights. We don’t have the money and we don’t have sitters that can watch all 3 kids for long periods of time. My parents are our go-to child watchers/ringleaders. But the 3 kids can get overwhelming. I get it. I get overwhelmed and I’m the mom. So sometimes we take what we can get. And if what we can get is a late lunch with some day drinking then we will take that. But no one ever asks me what restaurants to go to or where the best *insert food type here* place is because hell if I know. Those people who go OUT for a date? Or even worse those moms who regularly get alone time? You might as well speak another lanuage to me because I don’t understand. Like at all.

So when I see these women having these date night for NO PARTICULAR REASON OTHER THAN THEY CAN I get a little judgy. Or the moms that actually can go on vacation without kids? Shut up. Just shut your dirty whore mouth right now. Chad and I spend most of our alone time together on the couch watching Curb your Enthusiasm. After a beer I get really tired and go to bed. Dex is still up a few times a night so it’s not like I am ever well rested anyway. But seriously, who ARE these women anyway?? What kind of magical fairy babysitter dust did you get sprinkled all over your ass?

Asshole.

Also:

Moms that lose all the baby weight right away.

Moms that have perky boobs after breastfeeding.

Moms that drive normal cars.

Moms that have clean houses.

First time moms that say stupid shit like they have any idea at all about what they are talking about. TALK TO ME WHEN YOU HAVEN’T SLEPT IN MONTHS AND YOUR BOOBS ARE DRAGGING ON THE FLOOR AFTER HAVE NURSED 3 KIDS. You’re a newbie. NEW BEE. And it’s possible I am jealous of their newness. Nothing is new to me anymore, and I kind of miss those firsts.

I mean the list goes on and on. I am not saying it’s right that I am jealous and in turn judge. I am just saying it happens.

The reality is I am self aware enough to know that it’s not a healthy emotion. Some people wear their struggles on their sleeve for all to see and some don’t. Facebook allows a lot of us to portray ourselves to be a certain way, hiding the things we don’t want others to see and putting the pretty things out on display. It creates this false idea of what parenting life is like. Parenting is hard. It’s wonderful and fun and full of excitement. But it’s also stressful and challenging and surrounded by tears (me) and violent outbursts (also me).

I get jealous and I judge and I am not proud of it. But at least I can admit that. At least I can be honest about the ugliness of my personality and say that it’s something I am aware of and am constantly trying to work on. I fail and I succeed and I try. It’s a train in constant motion that just cycles through the phases of emotions.

Because the reality is we are all just trying to hang on to the brief moments of life we have here. We hang on with the whites of our knuckles and we grip it to death. No one is perfect. I am not perfect. I am flawed and messy and hopped up on caffeine most of the time. But at least I can say that and be ok with the truth.

It’s the ones that actually think they have their shit together that you shouldn’t trust. Because that is just a lie. A dirty dirty lie.

Like sobriety.

Or decaf coffee.